Molds in Wine Production

Molds are not used as starter culture for wine production, but the growth of Botrytis cinerea may be required for the production of certain types of wine. In general the growth of B. cinerea is unwanted, as it will rot the grapes. However, for the production of sweet white wine such as French Sauternes and Hungarian Tokay, the development of B. cinerea on the matured grapes is required and known as ''noble'' or ''vulgar rot''; this results in overripening and dehydration leading to increased sugar content in the grapes. Also, the growth of B. cinerea adds a characteristic flavor to the wine produced from these grapes. Specific environmental conditions such as alternating dry and humid periods are required for reaching the perfect stage of maturation and the development of B. cinerea (146,147). Biological control of the growth of B. cinerea on matured grapes has been obtained by use of the yeast Pichia membranifaciens; its antagonistic effect against B. cinerea appears to be related to its secretion of exo- and endo-h-1,3-glucanases (148).

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